By A&O Committee member Natalie Fritz, Clark County Historical Society
This month during American Archives Month, the Society of Ohio Archivists Advocacy and Outreach Committee decided to spend most of the month sharing three blog posts that highlight medical collections found in Ohio Archives. This theme was in keeping with the 2022 Ohio poster theme for Archives Month: Ohio Healthcare: The True Heart of it All.
Our final blog post for Archives Month is more in keeping with the spooky October season, focusing on spooky and scary things found in the archives. The committee invited other Ohio archives to share stories and items from their collections online using #ScaryOHArchives.
Today, while I may be highlighting some things that I personally find spooky or scary from the collections of the Clark County Historical Society at the Heritage Center in Springfield, Ohio, I also wanted to point out the subjective nature of what one may find to be scary.
Several years ago our collections staff here in Springfield decided to put together an exhibit based around scary stuff. We quickly found that each of us had different ideas about what specifically we found creepy in our collections. We decided to lean into the subjective nature of creepiness and allowed members of the staff to determine their objects of choice and write their own text to explain the scary factor, eventually coming up with thirteen objects or themes.
My number one choice? Creepy eyes. Maybe it stems from my four-year-old self’s fear of the Wicked Queen/Old Hag from Snow White On Ice. Could have been that ill-advised screening of Children of the Corn during a middle school sleepover. Whatever the reason, I’ve never been a fan of big spooky eyes. You may be familiar with the “following-eye” portraits seen in haunted houses and scary movies. They make you feel as if someone is always watching you, not in a reassuring way, but more in a “make-you-hair-stand-on-end” kind of way. Continue reading